Cover photo for James P. Neal's Obituary
James P. Neal Profile Photo
1929 James 2020

James P. Neal

August 21, 1929 — June 18, 2020

   In Memoriam of James P. Neal

The Good Lord called James P. Neal home on June 18, 2020 at 90 years of age.  James was born August 21, 1929, in Pampa, Texas to Arnold and Lady Neal.  He attended Pearsall High School and graduated in 1948.

He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Robert Neal, Joe Neal, Billy Neal, Milton Neal, and sister Frances Fitzpatrick.  He is survived by his wife of over 60 years, Coleen Fisher Neal; son James Neal, Jr. (Lisa) of Pearsall; daughter Chris Burkett (Mike) of Georgetown, TX; son Charles Neal (Colleen) of College Station, TX, eight grandchildren and three great grandchildren, brothers Fred Neal of Midland, TX, Wilson (Janis) and Iven (Ruby) Neal of Pearsall, TX, Charles Neal of Mathis, TX, Sister-in-law Beverly Neal of Goliad, TX, Brother-in-law Alvin and Sister-in-law Charlotte Westbrook of Alice, TX as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

The Neal’s relocated to Frio County in 1938 and at the age of nine James accepted Christ as his Savior while attending a Keystone Baptist Church revival and was baptized in the Keystone Reservoir.  He later joined the First Baptist Church, Pearsall, TX (FBC) where he was an active member teaching Sunday School for numerous years, became an ordained deacon, periodically served as Chairman of the Deacons, and later in life was named Deacon Emeritus.  He enjoyed welcoming people into God’s house and was the longest tenured member at FBC.  Until COVID impacted public gatherings, if it was a Sunday morning, you would find him at church. 

As a child, he had the opportunity to “learn by doing” on the family farm and in high school he became an FFA Lone Star Farmer.  Afterwards he farmed with his father, on his own, and later founded Riggan and Neal Farms with J.M. Riggan, Sr.  In this venture he and his brother Iven farmed and ranched with the Riggan family, and shared a business for over 50 years.  Farming was one of his life’s love and while he grew numerous crops, peanuts were his passion.  In 1971, he served on the National Peanut Advisory Committee for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and from 1970 until 1988 was a director of the Southwestern Peanut Growers Association.  In 1997, the Frio County Peanut Growers Association presented him with an award for 40 Years of Dedicated Service.  In these roles, he was an advocate for agriculture and expanding opportunities for farmers.   

Although at times he was quiet, being friendly and talking with people was one of his gifts.  His discourse was genuine and often lead to lengthy conversations.  Sometimes it occurred over coffee at a local café, at church, or at the weekly livestock auction.  He occasionally picked up the phone to speak with friends from the PHS Class of 48, rehashing old times and catching up on their current lives.  He made a point to regularly call his children, brothers, sister, and periodically other family members.  He cared about people, especially the men that worked on his farm.  He was grateful and showed kindness to all he met.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to The First Baptist Church, Pearsall, TX.


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Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, June 24, 2020

3:00 - 9:00 pm (Central time)

Hurley Funeral Home - Pearsall

608 E Trinity St, Pearsall, TX 78061

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Memorial Service

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

First Baptist Church - Pearsall

204 S Walnut St, Pearsall, TX 78061

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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